Do you have a question about airline safety, flight etiquette, jet lag, or air travel in general? Submit your question and look for answers in a future column.

by W. M. Wiggins

"What about pilot and flight crew security screenings at the airport?  Are they a necessary safety precaution or just another hold up?"  - Elaine, Boston, MA. 

Every time I hear a passenger say that pilots should be searched, I shake my head in disbelief. This is like searching a brain surgeon for knives before entering the hospital’s operating room…where he is to perform brain surgery…yep ….you’ve guessed it….using knives. A pilot with or without guns, knives, grenades, “water pistols”, you name it, can NEVER be stopped if he wants to crash the jet. Crashing is as simple as a flick of the wrist when the aircraft is on short final. So, should we delay pilots and crews at security with xrays and pat downs? No. But there's so much more to this story than what's being reported.  

Let’s start with a saying from the wise old man, Ben Franklin: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin's Contributions to the Conference on February 17 (III) Fri, Feb 17, 1775 

Ok, readers, I’m sorry for not jumping on this topic sooner, but I was soooooo busy with my tie dying and silk screening T-SHIRT business.

HOT ITEM T-shirts that I recommend you NOT wear through airport security:

"TSA: Training Sexual Assault"

 “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

There are many more items of this nature already on the street, but you get the idea, I’m sure.

Please, Please, Please …..Remember this!! First and foremost…..anything you say to TSA can and will be used against you….no joke!

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Fear not, travel more

by Eric Lucas

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

I was thinking about FDR’s famous axiom during my adventures on a particularly gruesome golf hole in Arizona over the New Year holiday. Afraid of slicing my drive right I hooked it left into the desert. Afraid of overshooting the hole, I hit a weak chip into a sand trap. Afraid of not reaching the green, I blasted out of the sand completely over the hole. Afraid of a knee-shaking downhill putt, I came up 3 feet short of the hole. Next putt—right by it, like a locomotive, afraid of coming up short again.

© Orlando Florin Rosu |

Despite those travails, it was a beautiful day in the Arizona sun.

I flew there from my home in Seattle. Not afraid.

That makes me different from the most important air travelers in our world today, the government officials who set transportation security policy. They are all scared to death—not of terrorism, so much, but of being blamed for it. FDR was right about fear when he prefaced his response to the Great Depression. We need to remember his thought before we wind up flying around the world buck naked, handcuffed and, as LA Times commentator David Steinberg puts it, wearing padded headgear so we can’t use our skulls to bash open a window to bring a plane down.

Wow—could a terrorist really do that?


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